WTT Star Contender Goa 2023 | Sutirtha Mukherjee, Harmeet Desai, and Yashaswini Ghorpade qualify for main draw
The three Indian table tennis players who advanced into their respective main draws of the WTT Star Contender Goa 2023 in Panjim on Tuesday were Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee, Commonwealth Games medalist Harmeet Desai, and adolescent Yashaswini Ghorpade.
Sutirtha Mukherjee, ranked 146 in the world for women's singles, defeated Chinese Taipei's 92nd-ranked player. To advance to the round of 64, Eunhye Lee of South Korea, ranked 107th in the world, was defeated by Li Yu-Jhun 3-0 (11-9,11-8,11-6) in round two and then 3-1 (11-9,6-11,11-6,11-8) in round three. On Wednesday, she will compete against fellow countrywoman Suhana Saini in the main round.
The first Indian player of table tennis to advance from the men's singles qualifications to the main draw was Harmeet Desai, a member of India's men's squad that won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2022. The world No. 99 German, Fanbo Meng, was defeated by Harmeet Desai 3-2 (11-5,11-13,11-9,9-11,9-11), and then the 84th-ranked Argentina, Horacio Cifuentes, was defeated 3-2. (11-7,9-11,11-7,8-11,11-5).
Yet in the men's singles main event on Saturday, 141st-ranked Harmeet Desai will face tough competition from India's top-ranked table tennis player, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who is rated No. 41 in the world. The youngest of the three qualifiers, Yashaswini Ghorpade, was also the first to advance in the women's singles. On her route to the main draw, the 18-year-old overcame two South Korean competitors.
Yashaswini Ghorpade, rated No. 196 in the world, defeated No. 103 Cheonhui Joo in round two 3-1 (11-7,11-6,9-11,11-8) and No. 104 Nayeong Kim 3-2. (11-6,1-11,5-11,11-5,11-7). Against Japanese Miyu Nagasaki, the world's No. 38 player, she will also have a difficult fight. There were two rounds of qualifying for doubles and a total of three for singles. The table tennis competition is taking place in Goa at the Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium.
The WTT Star Contender Goa 2023 would include 200 players from 30 different nations.